Contact the Author by eMail

Artist Photographer, Graphic Designer, and researcher focused on the history of taxidermy and natural history collections, with a special interest in 19th century culture.

Please note: Annick @Aldoworkshop is not affiliated with the Royal Museum for Central Africa, rather a natural history enthusiast dedicatedly passionate about the museum and its mission.

Copyright - ALDoWorkshop

Annick Aldo © 2011 - 2016

PHOTOS @ ALDoWorkshop

All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without the prior permission in writing of the artist. All images are the work of AldoWorkshop and are subject to copyright.
It is Museum Menagerie's policy to respect the copyright and intellectual property rights of others. Historical images published on this blog are made available for private study, considered to be in public domain or under an open license; the source information is provided in the post's reference list.


Contact the Author on Blogger

Name

Email *

Message *

About Museum Menagerie

Annick Aldo's Menagerie

As a visual artist, I explore the themes of natural history, mortality and transience of life, focusing on and examining historical artifacts. I have been fascinated with taxidermy and natural history displays for most of my life, from the origins of the Renaissance "cabinet of curiosity", to the nineteenth-century museums and the present day.
Today still not all intricacies of the history of natural sciences are understood and therefore appreciated and certainly the use of taxidermy is no exception. Studying and immersing oneself in the socio-cultural fabric that saw the birth and creation of these artifacts provides a rich and complex context for a better understanding of this unique subject and its extraordinary place in history.
Initially, Museum Menagerie was created to issue a public appeal to help track down the 'presumed lost' Rowland Ward Elephant film; to share knowledge that surrounded this particular event and provide a record of the specimens mounted by Rowland Ward for the Museum of Tervuren, officially known as The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA).
In 2013, the museum had chosen to dismantle their habitat dioramas, when they embarked on an extensive and drastic refurbishment. My only hope was to carefully photograph and document them for future generations prior to their destruction, as they are part of history — represent a stage in museum development and evolution — and also part of our increasing scientific understanding of the world during the 19th century.
Recognising the cultural and inspirational value of these collections, Museum Menagerie is a not-for-profit project dedicated to the mission of sharing information. Entries in the blog-section are not in-depth explorations; their purpose is to function as a gateway that directs visitors to public domain available resources and online archives.
By accumulating online resources, personal collection items and photographic impressions, Museum Menagerie aims to bring stories that are relevant to Rowland Ward and the Museum of Tervuren.

Musée du Duc d'Orléans

Open to the public from 1928 to 1959, le Musée du Duc d’Orléans was purpose-built as a separate annexe of the Muséum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris to house the hunting trophies bequeathed by Prince Philippe, Duc d’Orléans to France on his death in 1926. With an emphasis on natural history, it featured three gigantic walk-through panoramas depicting the scenery and wildlife of Arctic regions, Central and East Africa as well as the fauna and flora of Scandinavia.
The exhibits created a picturesque and striking scene of the regions Philippe, Duc d’Orléans had visited, incorporating representative animals artistically prepared and arranged by taxidermists Rowland Ward Ltd. With the use of the ‘diorama concept’, where ‘stuffed’ animals are arranged in natural surroundings, the museum presented a novel approach, at that time, to public display and education of natural history.
The large collection of zoological specimens, which the Duc had gathered on his expeditions, was highly regarded as “A World-Wide Record of Big Game”, and was of particular value for the variety of specimens it represented from around the world; many African specimens were new to science; others were of records in size; and it was considered to be the largest collection of trophies shot and collected by a one individual.

The Conception

Arctic region, polar bear.
The conception of a natural history museum, that outlined a more scientific purpose with less emphasis on trophy hunting, had been 40 years in the making. The Polar bear group amid an illusory icy landscape, against a painted mural, provided a realistic view of life in their Arctic habitat. The addition of a background was an important element which resulted in strengthening the illusion and marked the first display in the collection that sought to represent scientific truth.
A wildlife enthusiast since childhood, Philippe devote a great deal of his energy to building-up his own natural history collection. In 1888, having returned laden down with an assortment of trophies from his first successful big game hunt in India, Rowland Ward was entrusted with the job of preserving and modelling the specimens and inaugurated Philippe’s lifetime relationship with his taxidermists.
A very fine array of hunting trophies were displayed in his home at York House in England. This collection included traditional game heads, skin rugs, horns and skulls, tusks, and full mounts of mammals and birds staged in huge glass-enclosed habitat dioramas, such as the ‘tiger-elephant group’, regarded as his most treasured piece. His museum ambitions led him to engage in many more big game hunting adventures in pursuit of new specimens that would enrich the galleries.
Philippe, Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - York House, 1902.
Needing more space for a growing collection, the Duc d’Orléans established his own ‘private’ hunting museum at Wood Norton in England. When he sold Wood Norton in 1912, the museum was transferred, complete with its specifically designed building, from England to Manoir d’Anjou, near Brussels in Belgium.
With James Rowland Ward's death in 1912, John B. Burlace acquired the business and took over as managing director of Rowland Ward Ltd. Burlace continued to provide taxidermy services to the Duc d’Orléans; and helped him to achieve his lifelong ambition. Over 2000 specimens had been modelled and arranged by Rowland Ward at his studio, “The Jungle”, in London to be set up in the exhibit. Burlace was also directly involved in supervising the relocation of the museum, and on Philippe’s death the installation in Paris.
Prior to moving the collection from England to Belgium, Philippe offered it to the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, but the offer could not be accepted on account of lack of space. Nevertheless, he pursued with fervor his initial idea to set up a natural history museum at Manoir d’Anjou, but, unfortunately, the work of installing his trophies was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I and it was not until 1920 that he was able to resume development and finally devote himself to the composition and perfection of his exhibits.
The habitat display envisaged by the Duc d’Orléans employed a slightly different dramatic technique than that of the diorama set in a wall niche behind glass. The panorama provided the sensation of freedom that Philippe seemed to be looking for. He wanted his animals set out in a ‘natural surroundings’ so that people could walk among them, like a field experience, where the spectator felt as though they were in the actual place where the hunter tracked the wild beast to its lair.
Philippe, who proved to be also a gifted amateur photographer, took many photographs during his many explorations and pleasure trips. Many of these were in panoramic format, probably taken with a "Kodak Panoram #4", a swing-lens panoramic camera developed by Eastman Kodak Company in 1899. It had the ability to capture a tremendous amount of information and shows how the aspect of illusion that formed the panoramic view formed a basis to be applied in visualising the museum design.
Creating the scenes became a complex process. It not only required good artistry but also a great deal of ingenuity to create the ‘perfect’ taxidermy arrangement and engaged the passions of both Philippe, Duc d’Orléans and J. B. Burlace, directing manager of Rowland Ward.
Moving through the gallery became a voyage of discovery, visitors acquired an exact and very detailed knowledge of the subjects they studied, especially as regards the life, habits and reproduction cycle of animals. But it was more than a teaching tool, it was an exciting adventure without its tedious and dangerous side-effects that affect the hunter-explorer in the wilderness, — up close animal encounters, suspended in motion, such as lions emerging from behind the rocks, giraffes topping the trees, hyenas pecking at a carcass, crocodiles basking in the sun ... a lion prowling outside the hunter’s tent, that was standing by the campfire, just as it had been during the Duc d’Orléans’ visits to the Sudan.
Lions equipped with realistic roars produced by the pressure of a button.
A faithful reconstruction of Philippe, Duc d'Orléans' camp in the wild.

The Creation

Le Musée Duc d’Orléans created a sensation when opened to the public in 1928. It consisted of four pavilions: the first had hunting trophies adorn the walls and many glass cases of birds and grouped mammals, including an exhibit documenting the Arctic expeditions. By introducing the theme of exploration to link the entrance to the natural history displays, he plunged the visitor into an atmosphere he wanted to create. The journey of discovery began on board a reconstruction of the cabin of the Belgica, the ship on which the Duc d’Orléans sailed to the Arctic. Furnished and stowed as at the time of an expedition with in each cabin the objects belonging to the crew — such as scientific instruments, the actual entries in the log-book, meteorological observations, Philippe's diary, and the Memoirs of Dr. Récamier, the surgeon and naturalist of the expedition. Visitors went from here into another pavilion containing panoramas of the Polar region and Scandinavia. And next continued – the third pavilion — onto the Egyptian Sudan and the marshy plains of Bahr el-Ghazal and finally, entered the fourth pavilion depicting Central Africa, Kenya, Uganda and the African Great Lakes.
All the animals, modelled and arranged by Rowland Ward, had been brought back by the duke from his travels and expeditions, which follows in a brief overview :
[WALLACE] India and Tibet - 1887, 1888, 1889; Switzerland, 1889; Caucasus and North America, 1890; British Somaliland, 1892-1893; Scotland, Andalusia, Tyrol and Carpathians, 1893, 1904; the Arctic regions, 1904, 1905, 1907, 1909 (including Norway, Spitsbergen, Greenland, Nova Zembla, sea of Karn, Greenland and Franz Josef Land); Turkestan, Central Asia, Caucasus 1911; South America 1913; Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, 1921, 1922; Sudan, Bahr-el-Ghazal, 1923; Red Sea, Dinder and Blue Nile, 1926.

Philippe, Duc d'Orléans — 1869-1926

Pneumonia, swift and severe, carried off the Duke of Orleans, at the age of 57 during a visit to Palermo on Sunday 28 March [1926]. In a letter, a year before his death, to his friend, the Duc de Luynes he wrote :
“In cruel sorrow the years of this long exile are creeping on. May God grant me the supreme consolation of seeing my country once before I die,”
he pleads, and announces his intention of bequeathing his private museum to the French nation.
When Philippe, Duc d’Orléans died in 1926, he left his unique collection to France, to the Muséum Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris. In accordance with his wishes, providing financial basis for its development and upkeep, the collection was transferred from Manoir d’Anjou to a specially built museum at 45 rue Buffon, opposite the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
Philippe’s desire to complete a work of scientific value and with the intent to leave the entire collection to the country from which he remained an exile engrossed him during his latter years. Up to the time of his death he continued to make improvements. The last great expeditions he undertook to Africa for the purpose of hunting animals and studying their habitats with a definite objective to build a pavilion extension separating Egyptian Sudan from Central Africa, took place in 1923 and 1926. After Philippe’s death J.B. Burlace saw the plan to completion when he took charge of re-creating the entire display in its new location in Paris.
Le Musée du Duc d’Orléans was inaugurated on 22 December 1928, but despite the declaration of its guardian — to respect the will of the Duc d’Orléans, and maintain the collection in memory of the good Frenchman — changing interests will cast a dark shadow over his legacy.

Spectacular Folly

Lioness that has stricken down a zebra, Somaliland Fighting Lions,
and a mouflon in the claws of a snow leopard, mounted in 1892. Photo : 1973.
A fascinating collection of natural history, that had taken a lifetime of collecting and dedication to build had been destroyed by economic crisis, neglect and changing attitudes towards the subject and function of the exhibits, but foremost, by intellectual agendas geared towards an institution with a scientific vocation.
The museum, facing financial difficulties, suffered a deep crisis in the immediate postwar period, that left the curators concerned with the dilemma whether to preserve its heritage, or to focus on scientific research and higher education development. Lingering redevelopment plans were eventually scrapped due to budgetary constraints and in favour of its scientific mission, resulting in the museum’s closing to the public in 1959, deterioration of the building structures and damages to the collection due to insufficient maintenance (the staff was drastically reduced). After the building was demolished, the collection was dispersed among the various museum’s branches and specimen exhibiting severe deterioration were destroyed. The replica of the cabin from the Belgica ended up in the museum’s basement, but was finally removed and destroyed.
Somaliland, Fighting Lions.

Grande Evolution

In 1994, the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution of the Muséum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle opened in Paris following extensive renovation. A great deal of the specimens are on display in the present museum’s galleries, and others kept in storage available to researchers.
In retrospect, it is very regrettable that this unique collection, such a remarkable achievement, has vanished. The visitor of the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, where the collection’s remnants take centre stage in the caravan of African mammals, will be struck by its clever design both highly educational and visually stunning, however, one will never grasp anything more than an insignificant fraction of the their former glory.

VIVE LE ROI, Philippe VIII, Duc d'Orléans

Philippe, Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - Wood Norton.
Rowland Ward’s clients included some of the wealthiest and most famous men. One of their most loyal client was Prince Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, claimant to the throne of France from 1894 to 1926.
If the revolution had not interrupted his trajectory, he would have become King by ‘the grace of God’. At least this is what Philippe believed himself.
Forced into exile and heir to the immense Orléans fortune, the Duc d’Orléans played many parts in this melodrama; in turn British soldier, patriot, adventurer, intrepid big-game hunter, explorer, collector, pretender and lover, he was indeed a dashing personality.
Philippe VIII, Duc d'Orléans.
From early childhood, Philippe had a keen interest in natural history that would eventually take him around the world. Distant adventures and hunting expeditions provided a worthy exercise in distraction from his suffering and the unbearable pain of being in exile. His interest in the sport varied between traditional game-shooting at home and abroad to indubitably more dangerous and challenging big-game hunting around the globe. Philippe traveled the world, from African jungles to polar seas, in search of zoological specimens. Stalked tigers in the Nepal terai, tracked game through the African savanna and cruised the Arctic waters in pursuit of the polar bear.
The trophies that he brought back from the hunts adorned his homes in England, and his first menagerie was set up at York House. As the collections grew, it required more space and he established a ‘private’ museum, first at Wood Norton in 1907; following the sale of the property in 1912, transferred, complete with reconstruction of the building, to the Manoir d'Anjou near Brussels; and finally, on his death bequeathed to the French Nation and installed in Paris.
Philippe, Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - York House, 1902.
As it was customary to employ the services of a professional taxidermist, Rowland Ward, whose record stood for high-quality work, was entrusted with the job of modelling and arranging over 2000 specimens to be installed in the Duc d’Orléans’ museum. It was said Philippe, Duc d’Orléans amassed the largest accumulation of hunting trophies ever bagged by ‘one man’.

Louis Philippe Robert, Duc d'Orléans

Louis Philippe Robert, Duc d'Orléans was born on 6 February 1869, at York House, the son of Philippe, Count of Paris. His family lived in England from the abdication and banishment of his great-grandfather Louis Philippe, King of the French, in 1848; in 1871, following the fall of the Second French Empire, Philippe returned with his parents to France. Educated initially by tutors at Château d'Eu , he later attended a municipal college at Eu, and in 1882 entered the Collège of St. Stanislas de Paris. In June 1886 his family was once again exiled and they returned to England, where he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, on the nomination of Queen Victoria in February 1887, completing his training there having developed an abiding interest in geography, topography, and the natural sciences. He was attached for service to the King's Royal Rifle Corps which was then serving in India. He was known to monarchists as Philippe VIII, and became pretender to the throne upon his father's death, September 8, 1894. Philippe died of pneumonia at the Palais d'Orléans, Palermo, in 1926.

Le Prince Gamelle

Prince Philippe, Duc d'Orléans at the age of 20.
A particularly political act, and one that pins down Philippe’s personality, was a thoughtless attempt to enter France in order to claim his right to serve in the French army. When he arrives, he is arrested and confined. Prince Philippe’s brief but memorable stint in jail became an international news story in 1890.
After service as a British soldier in India, Prince Philippe resided at Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he attended a course in military theory. On 6 February 1890, having reached the age at which Frenchmen were called upon for mandatory military service, Philippe set out from Lausanne, determined to brave the law of exile by offering himself as a recruit in the French army. No doubt he thought it was necessary that he should announce himself to his countrymen. He proceeded to Paris and demanded to be inscribed on the list of conscripts under the Military Law. Arrested on the day of his arrival, under the provisions of the law exiling the chiefs of the house that had formerly reigned over France, and their heirs, he was sentenced to a term of two years' imprisonment in the great penitentiary of Clairvaux. During the hearing, Prince Philippe declined the assistance of counsel and defended himself in a short and manly speech, repudiating politics, and claiming, he wanted only to be like his fellows Frenchmen and to serve his country.
“ I come to France to serve in the army of my country as a common soldier. I have nothing to do with politics. That concerns my father,… I love my country. Is that a fault ? ”
Ah! the charming simplicity of the young man, who gained by his action nothing but a nickname, that of “Prince Gamelle”.
Le premier conscrit de France aka "Prince Gamelle" aka Philippe d'Orléans.
Prince Philippe’s little escapade took the media by storm. Royalists praised ‘le premier conscrit de France’ for obeying a patriotic inspiration, while the critics were divided in their opinion; some declared him to be ‘impetuous and undisciplined’, others ridiculed his act into a childish prank.
Prince Gamelle’s partisans hoped they could reap political benefits by taking advantage of the young prince’s imprisonment. Propaganda activities were at once stepped up, keeping the royal fans busy with saint-making and weaving a crown for an emerging hero or martyr. For the next months, lithographed portraits and photo cards with accompanying statements, were distributed throughout France. During the short period he spent in prison, the royalist newspaper, Le Gaulois seized every opportunity to praise the Prince. It published a daily account of his confinement, his acts and gestures, and his “words”.
In due course of time, this prisoner had become a somewhat embarrassing political subject. After four months of detention, the President of the Republic pardoned the young man and he was courteously conducted to the Swiss frontier.

The Prisoner of Clairvaux

Until the official minds were made up as to what to do with Prince Philippe, he was sent to prison at Clairvaux. There he occupied a comfortable 3-room apartment, was permitted to have visitors, brought in his trusted valet-de-chambre and got sumptuous meals to eat, prepared by restaurateur «l’Hôtel Saint-Bernard». He was allowed to talk freely to journalists and give interviews, delivering words intended for posterity, such as :
“Prison is less cruel than exile, for this prison is still the soil of France!”.
"Prince Gamelle" — Prison is less cruel than exile, for this prison is still the soil of France!
Despite his sweet cozy confinement, the handsome Philippe, a great traveler and hunter; frustrated with the monotonous prison regime and the lack of outdoor recreation, and female companionship, began to get bored. It can be said of Prince Philippe that in prison he was an indolent, testy young fellow who cared more for a good dinner than an entertaining book. Observations made, in a good-natured bantering way, and noted down by the prison guard, a brave and benevolent man, who had been assigned to watch over him, attest to this: He lingered in bed, had breakfast, and proceeded to see what the newspapers had to say about him; he had fallen to the habit of intoxication, he smoked big cigars and drank fine liquor, and, as a consequence, he appeared frequently flushed.
Philippe, Duc d'Orléans imprisoned at Clairvaux in 1890.
At the prison library he preferred reading feuilletons or detective fiction over Balzac. Whilst, the royal faithfuls at Le Gaulois reported that the Prince devoted all his time to profound study of history and political economy. This bit of news exited Calla, a leading light of the Jeunesse Royaliste, to promptly bring the prisoner, in person, a pile of military text books, sold off later in London by Philippe’s devoted valet.
In the afternoon, while continuing to abuse drink, the Prince, when not receiving visitors, kept busy with the account of a hunting trip to Nepal, whose valet-de-chambre wrote out for a book. With this model servant, he played cards and dominoes, and for distraction he liked blowing the French horn, no doubt to evoke the excitement of the chase of deer.
Beyond animated charm and blue-eyed blonde good looks, Philippe was rather given to making manifestations, to draw attention to his name and cause, but showed little trace of political in sight or tact. By temperament and conduct, Philippe was quite the opposite of his political-minded and eminently well-behaved father, Comte de Paris; or for that matter, his most prudent and saving great-grandfather, King Louis Philippe.
Yet for all his flaws, his escapade was quixotic and earned him the reputation of an adventurous lad that so easily captures the imagination of the public. His name sent through Europe and the world suddenly made him a living personage. But, alas ! this popularity was short-lived, and the Duc d'Orléans soon receded into the oblivion of exile.
The royalists were eager to believe that the Republic was in terminal decline, but nothing brought back France’s monarchical tradition. His exile would last the remaining years of his life. Obstinately refusing to renounce his claim to the throne of France, Philippe clung to the illusion of regal life at his little court in England.
“Saint Hubert” is a portrait of the Duc d'Orléans kneeling before a stag with 4-point antlers and a luminous halo. He holds a lance in one hand, and a bugle in the other. He is depicted wearing a velvet tunic and a mantle, and the fleur-de-lys of France is depicted, this time upon his cap.

Wood Norton

Wood Norton in Evesham, Worcestershire, England.
Wood Norton was at one time the home of Duc d'Orléans, an elegant mansion built of red brick with stone facings, situated in the shelter of the wood, in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, where the ceremony and traditions of the Court of France, all its dignities and splendors, were observed in grand style.
Its external appearance, little more than an average English manor house, belied the grandeur that marked the building’s interior. Inside it was luxuriously equipped as befitting an adobe for a future king with splendidly decorated rooms and marvelous objects d’art. Reminders of the glories of the ancien régime; family portraits by old masters, heirlooms and relics representing centuries of the history of the royal house of France.
Philippe spent a great deal of money in enlarging and beautifying the mansion and its dependencies. The property was originally a mere hunting lodge, belonging to the Duc d'Aumale, bequeathed to his grandnephew, Duc d'Orleans, upon his death in 1897. Its woods and coverts always replete with game afforded splendid sport.
Hunting Party: Philippe, Duc d'Orléans with his advisers and members of the Service d'honneur.

Wood Norton - Hunting Museum

One of the most interesting features of Wood Norton was the Duc d’Orléans’ ‘private’ museum, a purpose-built annex, entirely devoted to hunting trophies obtained by this royal sportsman on his various expeditions, and contained many triumphs of the taxidermist's art.
When not hunting or traveling, Philippe spent a great deal of time into drafting his ambitious project, setting the stage and the storyline for his menagerie. A narrative that celebrated his adventurous life and passion for nature, close encounters with the ferocious wild beasts and mastery over danger, derived from his own lived experiences. As the halls of his Wood Norton hunting museum attest, this passion, led him to embark upon many hunting expeditions in pursuit of more specimens.
The duke had begun his hunting experiences with tigers as early as 1888 in India and Tibet, and in 1892 he hunted elephants, rhinoceroses, and lions in Somali. The young Prince was just nineteen years of age when he joined the King's Royal Rifles in India and waged war against the great wild beast of Nepal and the Himalayas. He killed some half-a-dozen tigers, besides a valuable collection of birds, crocodiles and cobras, a good bag was secured of about 2442 animals; and he had some narrow escapes.
Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - Wood Norton. Photo: C. Vandyck (London)
Most noteworthy is the tiger-elephant group, a reconstruction of an incident in India when a wounded tiger sprang onto the elephant on which the Duc d'Orléans was riding, broke his rifle and very nearly ended his life; the whole of which was mounted by Rowland Ward, according to the Duc's notes, under the royal owner's direction.
Many animals were arranged in glass-enclosed habitat dioramas, often in dramatic pose, such as a Marco Polo mouflon in the claws of a snow leopard from Tibet. Further the Himalayan bear, the Tibetan antelope, the buffalo of Assam and nearly all other horn-bearers of this region were widely represented. On the ceiling, crocodiles, pythons, feline skins and birds are suspended.
Other displays exhibit numerous trophies, associated with various other regions of his travels, Caucasian Turs, Alaskan bear, and chamois from the Carpathians. Animals from the Carpathians and Tyrol arranged side by side, as well as ibexes and a great series of birds, otters and flamingos, which formed a special showcase of Andalusia.
Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - Wood Norton. Photo: C. Vandyck (London)
Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - Wood Norton. Photo: C. Vandyck (London)
Duc d'Orléans' Hunting Museum - Wood Norton. Photo: C. Vandyck (London)
The attraction of scientific reputation by naming rare specimens or obtaining such of record in size added a further element to the ambition of the hunter-collector. From 1892 to 1893, the Duc d’Orléans undertook a journey to Somaliland - a big game hunter's paradise, with diversity and abundance of wildlife. Here he discovered previously unreported species of elephant, distinguished from the African elephant by the shape of the ears, and which R. Lydekker named 'Elephas Africanus Orleansi' in honour of the discoverer; the mounted head of the type-specimen became a prominent feature of his museum.
Other glass-enclosed depictions of natural scenes held groups of animals and birds, in particular, dramatic groups showing animals in suspended animation, such as two lions in a duel to death, and a lioness that has stricken down a Grévy’s zebra.
A group of five polar bears amid artificial ice seem to lead a more tranquil existence against a painted background of a landscape that resembles parts of the mysterious polar regions. The Polar bear group, displayed in their illusory habitat, marked the first diorama that sought to add scientific realism to the artistic output of the expedition, highlighting effectively the goals and aspirations of the taxidermist and the hunter-collector.
Polar Bear group mounted by Rowland Ward, 1907.
Some of the trophies obtained on the Duc d’Orléans’ various expeditions to the Arctic were first shown at the Exposition Internationale de Chasse et de Pêche at Antwerp in 1907, amongst them a polar bear and a number of seals and walruses, mounted by Rowland Ward in group. They were much admired, and for them the Duc d’Orléans was awarded a diploma.
Polar bear at Exposition Internationale de Chasse et de Pêche, Anvers, 1907.
Bear autopsy (A travers la banquise : du Spitzberg au cap).

Belgica

Walrus Hoisted on to the Ice (Greenland Ice bank).
An interesting reminder of the Duc d’Orlėans’ travels was a faithful replica of the his cabin on board the Belgica, furnished and stowed in precisely the same fashion complete with scientific instruments of observations and an arsenal of hunting weapons.
A corner of the 'Belgica', Philippe's Cabin.
In 1904, Philippe had visited Svalbard in his private yacht, Maroussia, mostly hunting reindeer. His interests aroused by the Arctic regions, he chartered for his next cruise a more sturdy vessel, Belgica, captained by the Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache, who had envisioned a journey that was part adventure and part scientific endeavor. In 1905, despite being mainly dedicated to hunting, this expedition yielded significant scientific observations and mapping results of newly discovered land areas. The successful “Oceanographic Cruise” had brought the Duc d’Orléans again into favour with a people ever disposed to honour grit and enterprise. Subsequently, Philippe bought the Belgica and mounted two more voyages in 1907 and 1909, with specific aim of obtaining more arctic specimens for his museum.
His account of his voyage on board the Belgica is written in a charming, simple style that reveals the patriotic zeal and kindly nature of the author. His description of the crew’s landing on unknown soil, hoisting the tricolor and naming the newly discovered land, “Terre-de-France”, is touchingly pathetic.
“France ! ...
In the bush of Africa, in the wilds of Asia, or among the Arctic glaciers she [France] was with me ... twenty years of torture, of exile from France, with this cruel longing always at one’s heart ! ... in which God has given me the great pleasure of enriching the scientific heritage of my country and discovering land where I was able to hoist the French flag !”
Philippe and crew hoisting the tricolor and claiming Terre France.
The prince lived in the halo of melancholy caused by nostalgia for the land of his ancestors. Philippe alludes to it in his book named “Hunters and Hunting in the Arctic”, with following typical passage :
[introduction] … “Whatever the future may be which Providence has in store for me, those repeated struggles with the ice and sea have not been useless. They have at least served to enable me to understand and love the humble sailors who so cheerfully risked their lives for in each day. They have, I hope, tended to develop the man I aspire to be, so that should God one day see fit to impose greater and more onerous burdens upon me I may not prove wanting on finding myself at the helm of a ship larger and more difficult to navigate than my old Belgica.”
Vive Philippe VIII - Vive La France !
Part II : Musée du Duc d'Olreans